In a financial climate with increasingly limited resources, tracking investment in HIV R&D provides the field with vital information to chart the course forward. Monitoring funding trends allows identification of promising areas where investment is needed, prioritization of research, assessment of the influence that public policies have on funding trends and fact-based advocacy to support future investment in research. As later-stage and follow-on trials move forward, understanding and evaluating research in the context of public, private and philanthropic funding is increasingly important to ensure continued movement down the path towards ending AIDS. For more than a decade, AVAC has been a part of a variety of resource tracking efforts—tracking funding for HIV across the research agenda.
HIV Vaccines and Microbicides
Resource Tracking Working Group
Since 2004, the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group has annually collected information on the amount invested in research and development for HIV prevention options, including vaccines, microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), treatment as prevention, male circumcision, female condoms, HSV-2 prevention and vertical transmission prevention, and also cure and therapeutic vaccine research. The ninth annual report on HIV prevention research funding was prepared by the HIV Vaccines & Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group (RTWG), led by AVAC, in partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and UNAIDS. For the one-page overview of the report, see the Research to Reality Summary. Report graphics and presentations are available at www.hivresourcetracking.org.
- In 2012 funders reported investing a total of US$1.31 billion in research and development (R&D) for HIV prevention—a six percent increase over 2011 funding levels.
- A significant portion of the increase from 2011 to 2012 is due to improved reporting by several donors. The actual increase is moderate—an essential flatlining of funding.
- The United States remained the largest public sector funder of HIV prevention research, spending a total of US$925 million in 2012—70 percent of the total investment in HIV prevention R&D. The report authors point out the need for a broader funding base to support ongoing R&D.
- In 2012, there were 99,931 participants in HIV prevention research trials, primarily based in sites with high HIV burden in South Africa, Uganda and the US. Two-thirds of volunteers were in sub-Saharan Africa.
HIV Cure Research Resource
In 2013, the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group and AVAC began a collaboration with the International AIDS Society’s (IAS) Towards an HIV Cure initiative. The Working Group, AVAC and IAS brought together a group to review and allocate grants towards HIV cure research, analyze data on global funding. The working group released a report in July 2012 at the 7TH IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, Global Investment in HIV Cure Research and Development in 2012: Evolution toward greater investment and collaboration.
HIV Treatment Research Resource
Since 2009, AVAC has collaborated with the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and UNAIDS to collect and analyze global funding towards HIV treatment as part of the HIV Treatment Research and Development Resource Tracking Project initiative. An Exploratory Analysis of HIV Treatment Research and Development Investments in 2009, was released at the 6th International AIDS Conference on HIV pathogenesis, treatment and prevention in Rome, Italy. In March 2013, the most recent report Funding Scientific Innovation: Global Investments in HIV Treatment Research and Development in 2010 and 2011 was released.
In July 2012 at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, AVAC collaborated with Funder’s Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) to bring together a group of organizations and individuals who undertake and specialize in resource tracking for funding of HIV and related health priorities. The group was an effort to better collaborate in the area of resource tracking, to share methodological knowledge and to bring together sources of resource tracking information for the field.
The culmination was a session at AIDS 2012 titled, Know Your Resources: How to use funding data to strengthen your messages in the critical push for investing in the end of AIDS, which featured resource tracking efforts from UNAIDS, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Treatment Action Group (TAG), the Centre for Economic Governance and AIDS in Africa (CEGAA), National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and the National Viral Hepatitis Round Table (NVHR), the Global Forum on MSM & HIV, amfAR: The Foundation for AIDS Research, Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) and the European HIV/AIDS Funders Group (EFG) and the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group.